Category Archives: Cheese

Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres Menus Are Now Online

Going to a party, and running short on time? Choose from our delicious new hors d’oeuvres menus on our web site, prepared especially for the holiday season. Nothing makes you more welcome at a gathering or get-together than something delicious to share. Call us today, and let us work our yumminess on you!

Kidder’s Corner: The Lull Before The Storm

At The Cheese Board, early fall is our prep time for holiday gatherings.

By Dave Kidder

Moving from summer into fall is a nice time of year for the kitchen staff at The Cheese Board. We have such an amazing crew of chefs putting in long hours and after a long hot summer in the kitchen—and all over Reno and Tahoe—for catered events; we embrace this time of year as the dust settles. Now is our chance to get caught up on all of our projects and refine our menu to bring in all the fantastic fall/winter ingredients, before the next wave of holiday catering begins. Everything gets cleaned, organized, and ready to go in preparation for the long, cold winter, because once the holiday catering season begins, we will be going full steam again and it won’t be until the great spring thaw until we can do it again.

The crew can be seen busy in the kitchen and around the restaurant, working on cleaning projects, doing maintenance on our equipment, and on more intensive projects which there really isn’t time for while we are cranking out food for the masses during the busy summer restaurant, weddings and event catering season. Amy will be hard at work cleaning the compressors on the refrigeration systems, Kaimi and Izzy will be overseeing all the important cleaning projects and general “fix it” type jobs; Arnoldo will be tackling stove and hood fans with a bucket of soapy water and a stainless steel scrubber. Rafael will be out back cleaning out the vans after they’ve been used for multiple deliveries and scrubbing the rubber floor mats. Theresa will be restocking the catering equipment boxes and honing in the chaffers, Cambros and timely detail-oriented systems which make our catering department run smoothly. It’s a well oiled machine here. It’s got to be.

In the meantime, Debbie and Krista are hard at work upstairs in the offices, scheduling upcoming events and doing research to help The Cheese Board stay ahead of our competition. Larissa, the bookkeeper, will be cranking out the numbers, making sure we are continuing to run the business in a fiscally-sustainable manor. Catlin, Gigi and the front of the house staff will be tearing apart the dining room in search of dust and dirt and anything else needing to be polished, along with researching new retail products for the counter. It’s really a fantastic time of year to watch this team during slower times; instead of getting complacent or restful, we are flying into action in preparation for the next busy season. It’s fun to watch.

In the meantime, I can be found talking on the phone to our local farmers and purveyors, arranging the delivery of all the new seasonal ingredients and developing new menu items to knock the socks off of our wonderful, appreciative customers. Honestly, I wish everybody could enjoy their work as much as we do around The Cheese Board. Come on in and see us…you’re the reason we’re here. [DK]

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, New Year’s…Need We Say More?

The holidays are right around the corner, so if you need a little guidance on the most cost-effective ways to host your next get-together, we’ll be delighted to help. Or, if you’d rather do your research first, stay tuned for some helpful holiday catering tips from renowned caterer and founder of The Cheese Board, Debbie Branby, coming soon in a popular Northern Nevada foodie magazine near you!

Since 1981, Our Focus Has Been On Quality “Green” Cuisine

One thing we at The Cheese Board pride ourselves on is our commitment to using the best ingredients available. In fact, we don’t feel it’s going too far to say that “green cuisine” and the resulting honest flavors are our passion. Whenever possible, we look to local farmers to supply our organic and hormone-free meats and vegetables. As a proud member of Slow Food Reno, we find great value in using products that are as healthy for the environment as they are for our bodies. Equally important to us is our dedication to reduce, reuse, and recycle the products we work with. Whether we are bringing glass and plastic products back from an event to recycle, or working with local composters to dispose of used food in an environmentally friendly manner, we’ve been doing our part for nearly 30 years. In short, we were green before green was cool. :)

Join The Cheese Board At A Taste For Art

One of our favorite events of the year is the fundraiser for Nevada Musuem of Art called “A Taste For Art.” For the past 25 years, we’ve thrown our support behind this event and showcased our cuisine before thousands of wine fans and foodies from across Northern Nevada. Join us on Aug. 20th at the hottest art party in town, and stop by The Cheese Board’s table for a taste of something truly extraordinary. We can’t wait to see you there! For tickets, please visit

Kidder’s Corner: Crispy Seared Salmon Filet Salad

By Dave Kidder
Sweet juicy fruits reminiscent of warm sunny days are practically nonexistent during the colder months here in Reno. Hearty, savory vegetables tend to dominate the menus in most restaurants and bistros. But, there is one type of fruit that shines during the deep freeze, and that is citrus. Blood oranges, grapefruits, satsuma mandarins, kumquats, sweet oranges, lemons and limes are all in their peak of ripeness and deliciousness. I primarily use citrus fruits in salads because they lend a sweetness to counter the flavor of savory ingredients such as onions, olives and fennel. A salad of roasted lamb with oranges, olives & fennel or a salad of pan seared salmon filet with grapefruit and avocado are types of menu items featuring citrus fruits here at The Cheese Board. We cut the fruits into sections, or supreme. They add beautiful color and immense sweetness to our dishes. I have included a recipe featuring citrus fruits, so it can be made at home. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to write or call me any time if you have any questions at (775) 323-3115.


(Serves four portions)


-1 pound fresh salmon filet (skin removed)

-4 large handfuls of baby lettuces (mesclun mix)

-2 large ruby red grapefruits

-2 large Haas avocados

-4 ounces feta cheese (crumbled)

-6 ounces pecan halves (toasted)

-1 shallot (finely minced)

-zest and juice of 1 lemon

-1/4 cup sherry vinegar

½ cup canola oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

-1 tbsp dijon mustard

-1tbsp sugar

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper



-Cut fish into four quarter pound filets, season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

-Pre-heat a large non stick sauté pan over medium high heat until just smoking, add enough canola oil to liberally cover the bottom of the pan. Delicately place the fish, seasoned side down in the pan and let it cook for about three minutes. The goal is to get a nice crispy sear on the flesh. Carefully flip salmon in a motion moving away from yourself in order to avoid getting burned by hot spattering oil. Continue cooking for another two minutes, or until desired temperature, remove from pan, let rest on a plate lined with paper towels.


Prepare vinaigrette; in a large mixing bowl, soak the minced shallot in sherry vinegar for fifteen minutes in order to remove the harsh oniony flavor. Add mustard, sugar, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, blend with a whisk. After all ingredients are incorporated, slowly drizzle oil while whisking. Taste your final product before serving; it may need more salt, pepper, sugar to your desired taste.

Toast pecan halves in 350 degree oven for ten minutes

Crumble feta cheese

Peel and cut avocado into thin wedges, peel and cut grapefruit (removing pith) into sections, or supremes.

Toss baby lettuces in a large salad bowl with a small amount of vinaigrette, you can always add more, but an over dressed salad is not very pleasant.

Place dressed lettuce on plate, arrange grapefruit and avocado around lettuce. Put salmon on top and finish the salad with toasted pecans and crumbled feta cheese.

That’s it. Enjoy!

The Cheese Board — Reno’s Best Caterer for 2010

We’re honored and humbled to announce that RENO Magazine has selected The Cheese Board as Reno’s best caterer for 2010. Our catering career started way back in 1981 when a regular customer to our then-200 s.f. shop in Arlington Gardens—the original Cheese Board & Wine Seller—asked if we could make a sandwich and cut it into four pieces he could share, at a time when all we thought we did was sell imported cheeses and yummy California wines! From that first sandwich, we grew organically to do small parties, weddings, birthdays, retirement parties, galas, and eventually our largest event ever, which was the 5th birthday party for RENO Airlines (now a part of American Airlines), a huge bash for an estimated 4,500 guests. A fabulous chef in her own right, our founder, Debbie, served on the board of directors of the National Caterers Association, and was taken under the wings of three of North America’s most illustrious caterers—from New York City, Vancouver, B.C., and Phoenix—who shared their insights, recipes, chefs, and even their homes to help Debbie achieve her vision of bringing truly world-class catered events to Northern Nevada. Since the beginning, Debbie and her team have been committed to delivering fresh, honest flavors while usings locally-produced and artisanal products—not because it was cool or politically correct, but because that’s where the most amazing flavors and textures could be found. As a business, we owe a debt of gratitude to many people, including the many fine folks who have worked alongside us over 30 years; to our vendors, farmers, and purveyors of fine food and wines; and especially to our clients and friends who have honored us with their patronage, made us a part of their celebrations, and allowed us to grow. Thank you, and special thanks to RENO Magazine for recognizing a local, independent, woman-owned  business in this way.

Tonight: A Taste of Gee’s Bend at Nevada Museum of Art

Photo above: Blocks & Strips Quilt by Mary Lee Bendolph, 2002

In honor of the fabulous Quilts of Gee’s Bend at Nevada Museum of Art, tonight is A Taste of Gee’s Bend at our sister restaurant, Café Musée!  Savor the flavors of the South with our special prix fixe menu featuring Winter Greens Salad with Warm Sweet and Sharp Dressing,  Double-Dipped Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast with Goat Cheese and Scallion Grits, and real Sweet Potato Pie with Whipped Cream. The price is $34.50 for museum members, $44.50 for non-members, and admission to the exhibit is included. Tax and gratuity not included. Call 775.332.1848 for reservations at 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m.

A Dinner You’ll Love On Valentine’s Day

The Cheese Board is serving up a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for lovers young and old on February 14th beginning at 5 p.m. The menu, prepared by The Cheese Board’s Executive Chef Kaimi Coonrad and his staff, is $55 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) and features:


Roasted Beet With Smoked Salmon And Horseradish Cream.

First Course

Soup-Sip Of Fresh English Pea Or Roasted Tomato

Mâche Salad With Shaved Mushrooms, Parmegiano Reggiano, And Truffle Vinaigrette.

Entrée (Choice of one)

Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Mascarpone And Caramelized Onion Polenta Drizzled With A Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction And Served With Fresh Horseradish Cream.


Lobster, Shrimp, Clams, And Mussel Paella With Saffron Rice, Spanish Chorizo And Peas, Served With Lemon Aioli.


Chocolate Amaretto Torte With Vanilla-Scented Whipped Cream And Dark Chocolate Shavings.

For reservations or more information, please call Debbie or Gigi at (775) 332-1848.

(We’d love to see you here!)

Second Night Added By Popular Demand!

La-Donna-VelataAs fans of The Cheese Board know, our sister restaurant is Café Musée at Nevada Museum of Art, which is also the exclusive caterer for the museum. To coincide with the exhibit of Raphael’s “La Donna Velata” (Girl With A Veil) at Nevada Museum of Art, we’re putting on our best for a “Dinner With The Girl,” which features a Salad and Soup-Sip from Raphael’s region in Italy and Pork Osso Bucco on Polenta Olive Oil Cake topped with Citrus Mascarpone and Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce, all for just $30 for NMA members and $40 for non-members (tax and gratuity not included). Dinner price includes admission to view the exhibits. The first night of “Dinner WIth The Girl” on Feb. 10th sold out so fast, it made our heads spin, so we’re adding a second night on Feb. 11th with seatings at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Use the main museum entrance to enter Reynolds Hall, where dinner will be served. To book your reservation, call (775) 323-3115, ext. 104 today.